If you’re a cat owner then we have some important information about winter health hazards for cats. Winter time can be especially perilous for your feline friends. This is especially true if you live in an area where there are freezing temperatures. As cat parents, it’s up to us to keep our kitties safe from harm. While most of us do the best we can, there are hidden dangers that you might not even be aware of. Here are five of the biggest winter health hazards for cats that you need to be aware of.
1. Limit the time outside for inside cats
When the temperature is freezing outside, your cat’s fur coat can only do so much for protecting him or her from the cold. It does provide some protection, but prolonged exposure to the cold is not only uncomfortable, but it can become deadly. Cats are subject to developing hypothermia when the temperatures become frigid outside. Make sure that you limit the amount of time that your cat spends outside, especially if it’s an inside animal that isn’t used to temperature extremes.
2. Wipe your kitty’s feet after walking on sidewalks
Most homeowners and business owners use a chemically based ice melting solution to help keep sidewalks free of ice when it’s cold and freezing outside. While this is good for the safety of humans who walk across them, this isn’t the case for cats or for dogs either. When they walk across treated sidewalks, they tend to pick up some of the chemicals on their paws and the fur near the bottom of their legs. Since cats are really into self-grooming, there is a danger that they will lick the chemicals off their paws and fur and ingest it. The ice melt can make them sick so you can prevent this problem from developing by wiping your cat’s feet after they’ve gone outside and walked across treated surfaces.
3. Keep the driveway clear of antifreeze
Another winter hazard for cats is antifreeze. Ingesting this poisonous substance is deadly for dogs and cats. Antifreeze can leak out of the radiator of a car and leave a puddle in your driveway. Your cat doesn’t realize the danger and may lap up the liquid from the puddle. Some of the older antifreeze has a sweet taste but the results are usually fatal. Keep your eye out for this danger and clean up any antifreeze leaks to keep your pets safe in the winter time.
4. Holiday treats are dangerous for your cat
This is a danger that many people do not even think about during the holidays Holiday treats such as chocolate candies and desserts can make your cat extremely ill. Young children may think that they’re giving your cat a treat by sharing their candies and cakes with them, but in reality, it could result in a trip to the animal doctor with a very sick kitty. Another danger during this time is alcoholic beverages. Cats are curious creatures and some of them are too adventurous for their own good. Alcohol is also poisonous and can cause serious illness or even death, so it’s important to keep all beverages, especially the sweet ones, that contain alcohol well out of the reach of your kitty.
5. Holiday plants
During the holidays you may decorate your home, or even receive gifts of Poinsettias or Lilies. While these are very lovely plants, they are highly toxic to humans and animals. They present a danger for cats, dogs and young children. If ingested, the leaves and blossoms of these plants can make your pet terribly sick or worse. If you do have plants in your home, do yourself and your cat a favor by finding out if the variety that you have out is poisonous. If it is, keep it well out of the reach of your curious feline. Kittens are especially prone to chewing on plants and although this behavior in adult cats is more rare, it has happened. You may even want to consider using fake plants to decorate your home. After all, your cat is a lot like a small child and if you wouldn’t trust a two year old around a plant, you shouldn’t trust your cat either.